At a seminar at DFAT HQ yesterday morning. Coffee break included Iced VoVos. Haven’t seen them in years! Obviously the endorsement of a Prime-Minister-in-waiting carries a lot of weight …

You mention Ian Macfarlane potentially retiring, and there is some discussion in his seat of Groom at the moment. In yesterday’s local Chronicle a letter sent by ETU member Chris McGaw that said, “Ian Macfarlane must now publicly advise the people of Groom if he intends to stand the full term or if in fact he is weighing up other options.” The presure is coming from within and local sources are suggesting he will see out the 3 years, but not recontest.

When Colonel Mike Kelly decided to stand for election in the seat of Eden- Monaro, Department of Defence rejected an age-old tradition given to service men and refused to give him leave, deprived him of pay and gave him notice of only a week for his family to get out of Defence accommodation.

Qantas is getting ready to screw Frequent Flyers again. From April next year, when Premium Economy starts, you will need to use the same number of points you currently use to upgrade to Business Class to get a Premium Economy upgrade. Check out the website’s upgrade calculators. You can expect the number of points required to upgrade to the existing business class will go up quite a bit more.

11 staff from ANZ who were made redundant due to jobs going to India were put off two to three weeks prior to bonus share issue date. Even though all had worked during the financial year to contribute to the profit they did not receive any shares even though they offered to stay on for the extra couple of weeks to meet the eligibilty criteria. Also redundancy payments not received on the final day and 5 days later still no word on when they will be received and no compensation for the late payment. Not a nice way to finish up for the majority of staff who have given 10 to 20 year plus of loyal service.